Record number of visitors to Teeling distillery

New whiskey facility reports 8,000 visitors in August, the highest since it opened last year

Jack Teeling (left), who founded the company, pictured with his brother Stephen,  said visitor numbers were “significantly ahead” of its projections. Photograph: Patrick Bolger

Jack Teeling (left), who founded the company, pictured with his brother Stephen, said visitor numbers were “significantly ahead” of its projections. Photograph: Patrick Bolger

 

The visitor centre at the Dublin-based Teeling Whiskey distillery had its best ever month in August, with more than 8,000 people visiting the new facility.

This compared with 3,885 in the same month of 2015. And last weekend, more than 1,000 visitors made the trip to the distillery, which is located in the Liberties area of Dublin’s inner city.

Teeling is hoping to capitalise on the fact that the rival Jameson whiskey visitor centre in Dublin’s Smithfield area has closed for a refurbishment and won’t reopen until March 2017.

The Teeling Whiskey Company opened its distillery and visitor centre in June last year, following an investment of €10 million.

It was the first distillery to open in Dublin in more than 125 years and is the only fully operational one in the capital at present.

Jack Teeling, who founded the company, expressed his delight at the rising visitor number, which he said were “significantly ahead” of its projections.

“We have recently hired a new general manager of the visitor centre, Lisa Jameson, and we are looking to expand the distillery visitor attraction team due to the phenomenal demand,” he said.

“We are proud to have a fully functioning distillery back in the Liberties in Newmarket Square, the home of Dublin whiskey and look forward to continued growth in our visitor numbers and establishing the Teeling Distillery as a must-do Dublin attraction.”

Separately, losses mounted last year at the Irish Whiskey Museum, a popular tourist attraction since opening opposite the front gates of Trinity College in Dublin in late 2014.

Recently filed abridged accounts show Irish Whiskey Museum Ltd recorded a € 202,102 loss for the 12 months ending December 2015. Accumulated losses rose from € 295,084 to € 497,077.

The museum tells the history of Irish whiskey and was opened at a cost of € 1.9 million by local tour operator Extreme Event Ireland Limited.

The attraction was initially aiming to attract up to 80,000 visitors in its first year, rising to 230,000 in year five. It received a one-off grant totalling € 150,000 from the Department of Tourism in 2014.

Keith McDonnell, a director of Extreme Ireland, said he was happy with the progress of the museum to date.

“Turnover was just under €1 million last year and we had about 60,000 visitors. We had some extra expenses we hadn’t foreseen which impacted on the 2015 figures but we’re forecasting revenues to be higher this year. It is a new business so we weren’t expecting to turn a profit until year three,” said Mr McDonnell.

“We’re looking to exceed 80,000 visitors this year and are up 150 per cent in terms of visitor numbers for September alone.”